ATLAH World Missionary Church is the Harlem NY church well known for the horrendous messages it posts on it sign. Recently a New York judge ruled that the building was to be sold at action because of the church’s $1.02 million in tax liens and unpaid debts. Because the property may soon be available for purchase, the Ali Forney Center has started an online fundraiser to amass $200,000 to obtain the building. The Ali Forney Center is an advocacy organization for GLBT youth and young adults. The Center’s founder and executive director, Carl Siciliano hopes to turn the church building into a homeless shelter for the GLBT kids they serve.
Mr Siciliano feels that it would be fitting that this building which is currently home to a congregation that works so hard to evoke hatred and persecution against the GLBT community was retrofitted to serve that very same community. Especially since the violence promoted by the church against the GLBT community is the reason so many GLBT youth are homeless and in the streets.
We, as a community, have a golden, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to turn what was once a center of appalling hate into a home where our youth can be safe, nurtured, supported and thrive into self-sufficient adults. Let’s seize the day, and turn the page on an ugly chapter in Harlem’s history.
Scott Woolege, GLBT community activist
The church’s pastor is convinced that the judge can’t make such a ruling against the church, “I assure you, it’s about a water bill and a tax that can’t be levied against this church,” the Revd James David Manning, who made headlines in 2014 when he argued that Starbucks flavored its coffee drinks with “sodomites’ semen,” told DNAinfo in an interview.
The images are from HuffPost.com.
This story was originally posted at HuffPost Gay Voices.